Mills of Folon and Picon – O Rosal, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Mills of Folon and Picon

O Rosal, Spain

"Satisfying" is a good way to describe these beautifully aligned rows of Spanish mills.  


Built into the lush hills in the Baixo Miño region of Spain, the historic mills of Folón and Picon are built in perfect little lines that cascade down the slopes with an artful symmetry born of convenience.

The 60 mill buildings collectively known as the Mills of Folón and Picon were built starting in the 1700s. They were constructed in two large chunks which give them their name. At first, 36 mills were built to take advantage of the Folon stream that runs down a slope of the same name, then another 24 mill buildings were built to exploit the nearby Picon stream. The simple buildings are mainly squat, two story affairs that don’t look like much on their own, but as they were built in a perfectly swaying line down the hills, they really became something special.

While the aesthetic value of such a construction is plain to see, the actual reason for their layout is to that each mill can take advantage of the same stream, one after the other. While today they are seen as a cohesive point of interest/amazing photo location, each of the mills was likely owned by different entities when they were built, ranging from private families to entire villages to series of transient owners. If there were ever disputes between these multiple owners, it certainly doesn’t show in the planning. 

It is always a wonder when the needs of industrial creation end up producing a thing of beauty, and the Mills of Folón and Picon are one of those happy accidents that shouldn’t be missed. 

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